[tex4ht] teilatex and teimlatex

Zdzislaw Meglicki zdzisiekm at sbcglobal.net
Thu Oct 25 13:55:45 CEST 2012

> What do you mean by DTD XML? All the standard XML data files follow a
> DTD (document type definition).

This is what Tralics papers say and then add "similar to TEI XML". Perhaps
there are some more relaxed XMLs around that are not DTD. Or perhaps
theirs is a unique XML that is similar to TEI and also DTD compliant. 
Something like this, I guess.

> If Tralics is doing a good job, why do you want to change it? 

Tralics is incomplete. There are things it does not do. For example, it does
not do math drawings. It does not refer to theorems and so on.

It's a question of long-term strategy too.

Here's my salesman pitch: on-line education is coming. It's become a hot 
issue in the US already with top universities actively engaged. So we need
TeX to produce XML (or HTML5 at the very least) and it needs to be
done by TeX itself, that is, from within the official TeX distribution suite.

The approach taken by Tralics and LaTeXML is to work from the LaTeX source
and convert "the meaning" of constructs encountered to XML/MathML. 
But for this to work, there must be a special substitute for every LaTeX
package included in the source. The resulting conversion may break
on silly things like, say, direct TeX commands, for example LaTeXML 
does not know about "\mathinner", so I can't include the braket package.
Tralics alters TeX semantics in subtle ways, e.g., with equation numbering
and references, and with spacing around brackets.

To convert from dvi instead can give the system more flexibility, and 
we already have dvipdfm and similar example applications that show
how to read the file and how to construct the output in, say, page
description language such as PDF. And this is exactly what TeX4ht
is trying to do, so it looks like a good way forward.

There may be some money available to people working on this too.
Various private foundations, companies and institutions, e.g., Coursera, 
EdX, Google, Blackboard, Moodle, are already supporting 
on-line tuition projects, and they could as well extend the helping hand 
to TeX4ht. 

Zdzislaw (Gustav) Meglicki
Indiana University

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